Believe it or not, not all dictionaries or grammar books/ apps are developed in the same way. Some dictionaries are way better than others. While there is no science to choose a dictionary, whether it is an app or in a bookstore, here are a few tips to help you out.
(1) The bigger bigger the dictionary…. the better:
There is a reason why it is bigger: It has more words! With a bigger dictionary, you can be sure that you will get more examples and suggestions for use for each word. As a result you can see how the word is used in different context. This is important especially for french learners at the level B1 and higher.
(2) Choose a dictionary from a well-known publisher:
Larousse, Oxfords, Webster etc have been developing and publishing dictionaries for many decades. They know what they are doing. While many times these apps are not free, when preparing for your french exam it is best to be safe and go with one of these old reputable publishers than to go with a free app from an unknown publisher.
(3) If you want the best french dictionary…consider Larousse:
Larousse french dictionaries are to the french as the Oxford english dictionaries are to the english. Larousse is a well known french publishing company which publish french english dictionary. 9 out of 10 french students in France prefer Larousse dictionaries.
(4) Always select a Dictionary and grammar apps that work offline:
Nothing sucks more than when you need to get the definition of a word or the conjugation of a verb and the internet connect does not work!
(5) Make sure your app is transferable to other devices:
If an app does not allow you to share between devices, it might be a good idea to think it over before buying it. This is true especially for a paid app. No one wants to pay for an app more than once. Check to make sure you can download and install you app on more than one device. This way, if at some time you decide to change you device you can be sure that you will not have to buy again the same app.
(6) Choose a conjugation apps that have french and english:
If you are a beginner, Level A1, a conjugation app with your native language or english is the way to go. Many conjugation apps with two languages, give you the option to search in either language. This makes it easier to find verbs AND there conjugation.
(7) Conjugation of Reflexive Verbs:
Your app should be able to define and give the meaning and conjugation of both a reflexive and non reflexive verb. For many students are level A1 and A2, the use of reflexive verbs as well as the identification of reflexive verbs is of great importance.
(8) Get an all-in-one App:
If you can get one app that does everything that you want to do…go for it. It might work out cheaper in the long run and will be way more convenient. A great app to check out from a recognised publisher that is all-in-one is “Le BLED Orthographe, Grammaire, Conjugaison”. This app overs spelling rules, grammar and also conjugation. Le BLED is well-known in France and is a must have for many French students. Sadly it is currently only available in french, however if you are a level B1 or above this is a pretty great app to have.